Friday 30 September 2016

Three days later fightback might finally be on

Published 03/09/2016 | 02:30

Michael Noonan: 'I thought the communications were very good. I was proud of my colleagues in explaining this very complex issue since the start of the week' Photo: PA News
Michael Noonan: 'I thought the communications were very good. I was proud of my colleagues in explaining this very complex issue since the start of the week' Photo: PA News

'Paschal and myself, the finance team, are here to say a few words and answer any of your questions," Michael Noonan advised the waiting press in a shaded corner of the courtyard of Government Buildings.

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And that's exactly what he did for just less than 25 minutes until everybody was satisfied that the key issues had been addressed.

He told international investors that Ireland would "fight" at home and abroad to protect our corporation tax rate.

The minister tried to reassure the Irish people that jobs would not be lost on the back of the €13bn decision, and that the Americans now see us as being "pro-business".

And he launched a blistering rebuke of Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, suggesting she was pursuing a thinly veiled agenda. So the only question that really went unanswered was why didn't the Government come out with a co-ordinated response on Tuesday after the announcement was made.

Three news cycles were effectively left to the EU Commissioner to put her spin on the story as Mr Noonan struggled to convince his Government colleagues an appeal was the best way forward. "I thought the communications were very good. I was proud of my colleagues in explaining this very complex issue since the start of the week," the minister said.

That's not true. It was a PR disaster. However, some of that lost ground has been regained and with the full Cabinet now on board the fightback might actually be on.

Irish Independent

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